Harris-Backed Bail Fund Freed Suspects Accused of Child Sex Assault, Other Sickening Crimes
A bail fund promoted by Sen. Kamala Harris helped a man accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl get out of jail in July, according to court documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund also helped post bail in August for a man accused of assaulting a 71-year-old woman as he burglarized her home, court documents show. One week after his release the man was found to be in violation of his bail. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office told the DCNF on Wednesday that there is still an active felony warrant out for the man’s arrest.
Court documents reviewed by the DCNF reveal that the bail fund also provided support in June to a man who allegedly assaulted and robbed a victim on the streets of Minneapolis on May 25, the same day George Floyd died while in police custody.
During the nationwide wave of protests and riots following Floyd’s death, Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, called on her Twitter followers to donate to the MFF. Harris said contributions to the fund would “help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota” against Floyd’s death.
If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota. https://t.co/t8LXowKIbw
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 1, 2020
The fundraising page Harris linked in her tweet, which contains her picture and the slogan of her failed presidential campaign, was still actively accepting donations as of Wednesday.
The MFF revealed in early September that only about 6 percent of the $3,475,000 it has spent since Floyd’s death has gone to help bail people facing protest-related charges out of jail.
At least 13 staffers working for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign also donated to the MFF in the week following Floyd’s death, according to Reuters.
TIMOTHY WAYNE COLUMBUS — RELEASED BY MFF
Timothy Wayne Columbus, 36, faces up to 30 years in prison for allegedly sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in 2015, court records show. He was released from a Minneapolis jail in early July on $75,000 bail, according to jail records.
One day after his release, Columbus signed a document asking the court to return any refunded bail to the MFF, indicating that the fund played a role in securing his release from jail, a court document obtained by the DCNF shows.
Minnesota prosecutors provided graphic details of Columbus’ alleged assault of the 8-year-old girl in her mother’s home.
Columbus was a registered predatory offender for a separate incident prior to his arrest in June, according to the statement. Another registered sex offender received support from the MFF earlier in the summer.
KMSP reported in August that the group paid $350,000 in cash to release twice-convicted rapist Christopher Boswell from jail. Boswell currently faces charges of kidnapping and sexual assault, according to the outlet.
RICHARD RAYNELL KELLEY — RELEASED BY MFF
Richard Raynell Kelley, 53, faces 20 years in prison on charges of burglary and first-degree assault for allegedly breaking into the home a 71-year-old woman in April in violation of an active order of protection, court records show.
After the woman, who identified herself to police as the alleged assailant’s mother, confronted Kelley about why he was at her home, he allegedly grabbed her shoulders, pulled her down and began “punching and kicking her in the ribs, back, and right eye,” according to a court statement.
Kelley then allegedly taped the woman’s ankles and wrists together at the foot of a staircase and “proceeded to run up and down the stairs multiple times, stepping on Victim each time he passed her,” the statement read.
The woman had a swollen eye and bruises on her chest, shoulders, back and legs when police arrived at her house, according to the statement, which noted that officers also observed a “pool of blood” at the foot of her staircase.
Kelley was arrested and released from jail on $4,000 bail on Aug. 10, according to court records. Kelley signed a document the same day requesting any refunded bail money to be returned to the MFF, according to a court document reviewed by the DCNF.
One week later, on Aug. 17, Kelley was found to have violated his bail terms by not complying with electronic home monitoring rules. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office told the DCNF on Wednesday that there is still an active felony warrant for Kelley’s arrest.
Kelley is the second known suspect released from jail with MFF’s help since Floyd’s death found to have violated bail terms.
The fund bailed out Lionel Timms from jail in late July in relation to a third-degree felony assault charge he faces for allegedly assaulting a person on a bus on July 11. Timms was arrested again while out on bail for allegedly assaulting a bar manager, who was left with a traumatic brain injury.
MFF Interim Executive Director Greg Lewin issued a statement in response to Timms’ second arrest in late August, saying his arrest while out on bail was a failure of the criminal justice system.
DESHAUN JERMAIN BOYD — RELEASED BY MFF
Deshaun Jermain Boyd, 33, was released from jail on $70,000 bail in early July after he was charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, court records show. He has since pleaded guilty and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, according to the records.
Boyd allegedly assaulted and robbed a man who was leaning on a cane on May 25. Boyd and another suspect knocked their victim to the ground, then proceeded to repeatedly kick and punch him, according to a statement filed by Minnesota prosecutors.
As the victim “attempted to shield his face and body from the repeated blows,” Boyd and his accomplice “started to stomp” on his head, according to the statement. Following the assault, Boyd and his associate stole the contents of the victim’s pockets. They were arrested by police a short distance from the scene.
Boyd signed a court document a few days before his release in late June, requesting that any refunded bail be returned to the MFF. Boyd pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated robbery in late July and is scheduled to be sentenced in late September.
The Biden campaign, Harris’ Senate office and the MFF did not return multiple requests for comment.
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